Entitled motorists – Like barnacles hanging to a collapsing pier

Lee Heidhues 11.27.2022

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – SAN FRANCISCO RICHMOND REVIEW

The overwhelming Victory of Proposition J and the crushing defeat of Proposition I should have sent a message to the motorists and their followers who howled incessantly to put this issue to a vote of The People.

Car-Free JFK Drive supporters enjoy the sunset while celebrating the Prop J victory and continuation of Car-free JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park San Francisco Nov. 9, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Funded by Dede Wilsey and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco to the tune of 800K the motorists got their Vote.

There can be no doubt about the Result.

The People want car free areas in San Francisco.

JFK Promenade supporters on the march

It is sad and all too predictable that the Losers in this Vote by The People refuse to accept the result and continue to push their campaign to drive anywhere anytime.

The motorists want to further limit the car free time on The Great Walkway and continue to argue that The Great Walkway should not be car free beginning on Fridays at noon.

The victorious People rally on The Great Walkway

The motorists purposefully have forgotten already that Proposition I, their call to bring cars back to The Great Walkway, was crushed. Sixty-five percent of The People voted NO.

Equally disturbing is the motorists latest war on Slow Streets.

Like barnacles hanging to a collapsing pier the motorists have attached themselves to Slow Streets Cabrillo and 23rd Avenue as an assault on their hegemony in another attempt to thwart the will of The People.

The SFMTA, in a mind-numbing decision, has voted to cut by half the number of Slow Streets despite the election results.

This sense of Entitlement by the motorists is reprehensible and will be firmly rejected.

Liz Heidhues, a San Francisco native, celebrates Prop J victory which will keep JFK Promenade open to pedestrians and closed to cars, in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco Nov. 9, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Chronicle news quiz editor must still be celebrating Thanksgiving

Sunday News Quiz Error – San Francisco Chronicle Edition

Lee Heidhues 11.27.2022

The Chronicle weekly news quiz editor must still be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.

State Senator Scott Wiener (D-S.F.) was the subject of a homophobic slur by MAGA flame thrower, Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Rep-Marjorie-Taylor-Greene-calls-Sen-Scott-17606923.php

Question 9 this week asked, “Who did Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene refer to with a homophobic slur on Twitter?”

The correct Answer, according to The Chronicle, is B. George Takei who made his fame on the Star Trek television and cinematic franchise. Wrong!!!!

George Takei

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Takei

Senator Wiener and George Takei do have one thing in common. Both are Gay men and have been very active in the fight for LGBTQ rights. Rep. Greene would probably ascribe the same disgusting slur to the 85 year old Mr. Takei.

Question 9 – Who did Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene refer to with a homophobic slur on Twitter? 11.27.2022

“The Flag is Bleeding”- graphic symbol volatile US Race Relations

Lee Heidhues 11.26.2022

It was Black Friday, the traditional post Thanksgiving shopping day.

The yearly event certainly turned out to be a special day at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park.

I first saw this painting, The Flag is Bleeding by Ruth Ringgold on November 8, 2019 at the DeYoung members only showing of ‘Soul of a Nation.’

Liz Heidhues at Soul of a Nation – DeYoung Museum 11.8.2019

The next day progressive Chesa Boudin was declared winner in the San Francisco District Attorney election

I posted a blog about the ‘Soul of a Nation’ and used the painting

In the last three years I have displayed it several times on my Blog to illustrate the volatile political and racist history of America.

It is arguably my favorite piece I have EVER viewed at the DeYoung Museum.

Sunday is the last day of the Faith Ringgold exhibit.

The Flag is Bleeding is a lead painting of the Exhibit.

We purchased a beautifully framed print for a very fair price which includes a further discount Liz receives as a longtime member of the DeYoung Museum. Our purchase is now affixed with a RED DOT waiting to be specially wrapped prior to its journey to our home.

The curator will package it and I will pick it up next Tuesday after the 🇮🇷 v 🇺🇸 World Cup match.

https://www.famsf.org/press-room/unprecedented-faith-ringgold-american-people-to-make-west-coast-debut-at-de-young-museum

Entrance to the Faith Ringgold Exhibit at the DeYoung Museum

So much for Progressive San Francisco. It ain’t necessarily so

Lee Heidhues 11.23.2022

2022 was a good year for law and order reactionaries in San Francisco.

The most egregious example of this trend was the shameful recall of Progressive DA Chesa Boudin and his handpicked replacement, the ethically challenged Brooke Jenkins already looking at ethics, prosecutorial misconduct and possible criminal investigations.

The San Francisco Chronicle took a deep dive into the voting patterns of its residents in the November 8 election.

The reputation that San Francisco holds sway over progressive thought is not true.

One need only look at the Conservative MAGA funded recalls of Progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin and three Progressive School Board members earlier this year.

Progressive District Attorney tossed out of office in a political Coup d’etat orchestrated by and funded with 9MM in MAGA money

In reality, many San Francisco voters are reactionary, tight fisted, law and order minded. Like much of America too many San Franciscans have bought into the Fox News nonsense, particularly in the Western part of San Francisco.

Excerpted from The San Francisco Chronicle 11.23.2022

San Francisco’s propositions on the November ballot covered a range of issues, including affordable housing, transportation, car free areas, education and even the library.

But while the 14 measures split voters along different issues, the geographic spread of the results tell the same story: Residents living in the city center voted very differently from those in the outer neighborhoods, particularly the Sunset and Parkside.

DA Recall screamer Leanna ‘Bullhorn’ Louie a leader of San Francisco MAGA reactionaries

High-scoring precincts — those considered more “progressive” and colored in green and blue on the map — are more common and geographically spread out.

There are 60 precincts, mainly stretching from the Panhandle down to Bernal Heights, with scores above 75. Fewer precincts (44 of them) have scores under 25.

The precinct with the highest value is a six-block stretch between Buena Vista Park and the eastern half of the Panhandle. The “yes” shares from this precinct on Propositions E (the affordable housing initiative), M (vacancy tax) and O (City College parcel tax) are at least 10 percentage points higher than the citywide percentages.

Four blocks to the east in Hayes Valley are two more precincts with equally high progressivity scores. And less than a mile south in the Mission are two more.

One Progressive victory. Supporters enjoy the sunset while celebrating the Prop J victory and continuation of Car-free JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park San Francisco Calif., Nov. 9, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

The San Francisco Chronicle found the city’s least “progressive” precincts concentrated in a 2-square-mile area in the Outer Sunset. The precincts stretch from 19th Avenue to 40th and are bounded by Stern Grove to the north and Lake Merced and San Francisco State University to the south. Another precinct a few blocks east in St. Francis Wood has a similarly low progressivity score.

Top photo – Precincts with the highest progressivity scores

The five precincts with the highest scores are located in Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, the Castro and the Mission.

A map showing the five precincts with the highest progressivity located in the Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, Castro and Mission neighborhoods.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/sf-neighborhoods-moderate-progressive-17605112.php

S.F. Drivers -The Entitled Motorists who will never be satisfied.

Lee Heidhues 11.21.2022

I thought that after the smashing victory of Proposition J which made permanent JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park and the total smackdown of the Dede Wilsey Proposition I which would have returned cars full time to The Great Walkway that San Francisco City Hall would get the message.

The message being that San Franciscans want more Slow Streets and car free areas.

Obviously the bureaucrats in City Hall, led by opportunistic Mayor London Breed, have yet to receive the message.

Most distressing is the absence of Lake Street from Arguello to 25th Avenue. This has been one of the most scenic and widely used Slow Streets. Regrettably, the well heeled residents of this area have howled non stop that their hegemony over the road has been eliminated. Money talks and the City Hall bureaucrats have shamefully listened.

People walk and cycle along Lake Street during a community parade in support of the Slow Street in the Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco this past April.Stephen Lam, photographer / The Chronicle

The latest proposal by the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority (SFMTA) would severely cut back the number of Slow Streets, put in place by Mayoral decree at the beginning of the Pandemic in April 2020.

The SFMTA, as its reason for dialing back the program makes the eye rolling comment, “Others (Slow Streets) did not meet the needs of the community.”

I ask, Who is the so called “community?” Answer: The Entitled Motorists who will never be satisfied.

Those seeking a better, translation, Car Free environment in San Francisco will once again have to go to the proverbial barricades.

In the effort to have full disclosure, I am happy for a couple of reasons. Two of the Slow Streets which are planned to be permanent are in my neighborhood. In addition, the street on which I grew up is also one of the those on the permanent list.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 11.21.2022

San Francisco is primed to permanently keep roughly half of the Slow Streets that were implemented at the start of the pandemic by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency.

Legend

Slow Streets

Neighborway
— Cabrillo Street   — 23rd Avenue   — Clay Street   — Golden Gate Avenue   — Lyon Street   — Noe Street   — 12th Avenue   — Shotwell Street   — 22nd Street   10 — Minnesota Street   11 — Sanchez Street   12 — Hearst Avenue   13 — Arlington Street   14 — Somerset Street   15 — Cayuga Avenue   16 — Page Street neighborway  
Map: Sriharsha Devulapalli / The Chronicle  Source: SFMTA

“Slow Streets were a citywide experiment, and not all of these experiments were successful,” the SFMTA wrote in an explanatory document. “Some Slow Streets weren’t well utilized or developed conflicts with neighborhood access. Some Slow Streets didn’t connect to the overall citywide active transportation network. Others did not meet the needs of the community.”

The proposed network of Slow Streets, meant to deter car traffic on residential streets, would remove all but one of the Slow Street segments in the Sunset District, as well as all the Slow Streets in South of Market.

Liz Heidhues cycling on Slow Street Lake

The SFMTA’s proposal, unveiled Monday, does not give a recommendation on Slow Lake Street — among the first four Slow Streets the agency’s board voted to keep permanent in August 2021. The fate of that particular Slow Street has divided its residents, and the Board of Directors will make a final call on whether to include it in the Slow Streets network.

The city installed 31 Slow Streets at the start of the pandemic as a way to give residents more space to recreate while social distancing. Some of the most popular Slow Streets have given pedestrians and cyclists more freedom to exercise and travel on their roadways with minimal worry about facing oncoming car traffic. Others have been utilized more sparingly, one of the reasons the transportation agency cited for the Slow Streets that failed to make the final cut.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/S-F-wants-to-make-15-of-the-city-s-Slow-17602299.php#photo-23193606

Slow Street Cabrillo. One of the proposed to be made permanent Slow Streets

God’s messenger. Ron DeSantis Charisma-free ideological thug

Lee Heidhues 11.20.2022

It’s hard to believe there is someone WORSE than Donald Trump. There is someone much WORSE than Trump.

God’s messenger. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. A right wing vicious Ideologue who believes he is a messenger sent by God. In his successful re-election campaign DeSantis ran this Video.

Terrifying and scary. Straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Excerpted from New York Magazine – Intelligencer – 11.20.2022

None of Trump’s 2016 opponents was Ron DeSantis.

Scene from The Handmaid’s Tale

DeSantis is 44 years old, only four years older than Pete Buttigieg. He is guaranteed an opportunity to appear on Fox News whenever he wants for the foreseeable future; all he needs to do is to find more “woke” objects of his vengeful fury. Why tangle with Trump when the old man might soon die a natural political death?

Florida Guv DeSantis seems likely to be so formidable as to discourage some other rivals from playing in the 2024 sandbox dominated by the two big bullies from the Sunshine State. My colleague Jonathan Chait has been arguing for a while that the Florida governor is putting together a fan club that ranges from traditional conservatives who are ready to move on from Trump to the very extremists who think DeSantis is even better than Trump at “owning the libs” and expressing the life-giving hate of the MAGA movement. And now the outcome of the 2022 midterms has been like rocket-fuel for DeSantis, Chait observes:

The Murdoch-owned media, very much including Fox News, unleashed an undisguised propaganda blitz to convince its audience that Trump is the source of the party’s struggles and DeSantis represents its future. Trump’s angry response [attacking “Ron DeSanctimonious”] is a measure of how seriously he takes the threat to steer the base away from him. Many journalists registered surprise at the bluntness of the chorus blaming Trump. Yet the prospects for a DeSantis nomination, and the changes beneath the surface that have made it relatively likely, have not been fully appreciated outside the Republican world.

If DeSantis can indeed compete for Trump’s own base while thrilling more traditional conservatives who see him as a skillful demagogue who shares their views and interests, then yes, he could take down Trump — though not without a vicious and poisonous fight.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 17: Members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) march to their rally near City Hall on April 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. An NSM anti-illegal immigration rally in October in Riverside, California resulted in fights between the neo-Nazis and counter-protesters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

But there’s something about DeSantis that reminds me of former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a charisma-free ideological thug who terrified liberals everywhere until he actually ran for president in 2016 and he sank like a stone before any votes were cast. And the swooning over DeSantis among conservatives reminds me of Rick Perry when he briefly stormed the 2012 Republican presidential field like a conquering hero — until he suddenly became perceived as an insubstantial buffoon.

But even if DeSantis is Ronald Reagan reincarnated, and the irresistible force needed to dislodge Trump’s immovable self-regard, there is also a decent chance (as some reporters are already suggesting) that he will choose to wait until 2028 when he could either run as Trump’s natural successor (assuming an offer to step aside this year would instantly make Trump a DeSantis fan again) or the antidote to a failed MAGA movement if Trump runs and loses again.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/11/if-desantis-clears-the-gop-field-is-trump-doomed.html

Alameda elects Progressive DA S.F. should hang its head in Shame.

Lee Heidhues 11.19.2022

San Francisco should hang its collective political head in Shame.

Seduced and bought off by the MAGA crowd with 9MM.

What did San Francisco get in its place after the Recall?

The “Personal Shopper” for Mayor London Breed. A total political hack unqualified to be in the same Room with Chesa Boudin.

The Real DA Chesa Boudin – ousted in the MAGA political Coup d’etat led by Mayor London Breed

A faux Chief Law Enforcement officer who reeks of unethical behavior, prosecutorial misconduct and, now a potential criminal indictment.

And, by the way, Crime is UP since the Puppet DA Brooke Jenkins became London Breed’s photo op companion. Alameda County voters looked across the Bay and decided, “We’ll take an honest Progressive.”

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 11.19.2022

Civil rights attorney and staunch reform advocate Pamela Price will be Alameda County’s next district attorney, defeating a veteran local prosecutor and making history as the first Black person to hold the office.

Price, who had been behind in early results, pulled 53% of the 428,233 votes counted as of Friday night, overcoming Chief Assistant District Attorney Terry Wiley’s 47%.

Less than six months after San Francisco voters recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a former public defender, the Alameda County district attorney election was seen as yet another test for the region’s appetite for progressive vs. more traditional prosecutors.

San Francisco ethically compromised DA Brooke Jenkins and Mayor London Breed’s handmaiden parrots the law and order line

In electing interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins to a full term, San Francisco voters articulated their desire to see a former prosecutor who campaigned for Boudin’s recall run the office after promising more punishment for criminal defendants. 

Price claimed victory in a series of tweets Friday evening, and said her administration would embrace progressive legislative reforms that her predecessors had blocked.

https://www.pamelaprice4da.com/about

https://www.sfchronicle.com/election/article/Civil-rights-attorney-Pamela-Price-makes-history-17596670.php

Russians to free Griner? U.S. officials dismiss it as mere talk.

Lee Heidhues 11.18.2022

The terrible saga of Brittney’s Griner’s inhumane treatment by the Russian government continues.

Thursday Brittney was transferred to a Russian penal colony 300 miles from Moscow to serve her nine year sentence for allegedly bringing a small amount of marijuana oil into the country last March.

At the same time the Russians are sending Brittney to the Gulag, the government spokesman is cynically saying a prisoner swap which would result in her release may occur soon.

Brittney Griner eyes the Russian justice system.

A day after it emerged that the American basketball star Brittney Griner had been sent to a Russian penal colony, a top Russian diplomat said on Friday that the prospect of a prisoner exchange was increasing, and acknowledged that it could involve a Russian arms dealer imprisoned in the United States.

But U.S. officials dismissed the suggestion of any new optimism about an agreement, saying that the Kremlin had not been serious about negotiating a deal.

She has been jailed for nine months and was sentenced to nine years for entering Russia with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, and her lawyers confirmed on Thursday that she had been transferred to a penal colony, where harsh conditions and mistreatment are commonplace.

Since June, the Biden administration has proposed trading Viktor Bout, the arms dealer, for Ms. Griner, who has been jailed for nine months, and Paul N. Whelan, an American held for almost four years and convicted of espionage, according to U.S. officials and numerous news media reports.

Griner has been jailed for nine months and was sentenced to nine years for entering Russia with vape cartridges containing hashish oil. Thursday she was transferred to a penal colony, where harsh conditions and mistreatment are commonplace.

“We have made a substantial offer that the Russian Federation has consistently failed to negotiate in good faith,” a department spokesman, Vedant Patel, said at a news briefing. The U.S. government “has continued to follow up on that proposal and propose alternative potential ways forward.”

But, he said, the Kremlin’s “failure to seriously negotiate on these issues in the established channel, or any other channel for that matter, runs counter to its public statements.”

Their fates have been caught up in the hardening confrontation between Washington and Moscow over the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which American officials say is reflected in the tough treatment of Ms. Griner.

Mr. Bout is currently serving a 25-year sentence in a U.S. prison for conspiring to sell weapons to people who said they planned to kill Americans. Since his arrest in 2008, Russia has repeatedly made efforts to secure his release.

In addition to Ms. Griner’s case, the Biden administration has been working to secure the release of Paul Whelan, a former Marine who in 2020 was sentenced to 16 years in a high-security Russian prison on espionage charges.

“But the Empress has No Clothes.” Cried a Child!

Every Political Cartoon Tells a Story – San Francisco Mayor London Breed Special Edition

Liz Heidhues 11.18.2022

Cartoon of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” starring @LondonBreed & her advisors @mattdorsey @BrookeJenkinsSF @NancyTungSF.

Fairy tale is about a vain emperor who gets exposed before his subjects.

The emperor hires 2 tailors (con men) to make him a new invisible suit.

They tell the emperor their material is so fine, only intelligent people can see it.

His advisors, afraid of being thought stupid, praise the new suit.

The tailors mime dressing the emperor and he sets off in a parade before the whole city.

The townsfolk go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear stupid, until a child blurts out the emperor is wearing nothing at all!

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and Mayor London Breed Shopping for Clothes – November 2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes

Killing wolves in Europe. A crime against the environment.

Lee Heidhues 11.17.2022

The European Union pays a lot of attention to how its wildlife is protected and preserved. A recent nation joining the trend to protect wolves is Slovakia where wolves now enjoy year round protection.

It is now a crime against the environment to kill wolves in Slovakia.

It is now illegal to hunt wolves in the central European nation.

In my home town of San Francisco we live near the Federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area where I frequently see Coyotes.

Coyote on the Coastal Trail in San Francisco – August 2022

Gray wolves and coyotes are very closely related. The numerous similarities include their diets, hunting styles and high intelligence. Excerpted from https://animals.mom.com/

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 11.17.2022

There have been wolves in Central and Eastern Europe for many centuries, and most farmers in these countries are familiar with ways of protecting their property and livestock against wolf attacks.

Farmers and wolves have been foes since time immemorial, so it may come as a surprise to many that a symbiosis between farmers and wolves is possible.

Wolves and humans can get along just fine.

“They help reduce damage to agricultural crops through predation pressure on ruminants,” Kristina Bockova, spokesperson for the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, told DW. “They mainly hunt sick and weak animals, as well as wild animals infected by the currently widespread African plague,” Bockova said.

Bockova said wolves were not only under threat from frequent poaching, but also from the fragmentation of the landscape and the loss of quiet zones with minimal human activity — both of which are crucial for the preservation of the wolf population.

Legislation protecting wolves in Slovakia was passed in 2021. But now some are calling for a change in the law because of an alleged rise in wolf attacks.

Juraj Lukac is a Slovak activist who has been fighting for the conservation of wolves for almost 50 years. His group, the WOLF Forest Protection Movement, began work in 1973, bringing together people from the eastern and northern regions of Slovakia who wanted to protect the country’s forests and the rights of the animals living in them.

Two wolves enjoy a walk in the forest.

It was a long struggle, but the group finally saw its life’s work bear fruit when a new law providing year-round protection for wolves in the Slovak Republic was passed in June 2021. The law has made it illegal to hunt wolves and has put an end to the regulation of the wolf population in Slovakia.

Before the law was passed, killing a wolf in Slovakia outside the provisions of the regulation was considered a crime of poaching. Now, it is considered a crime against the environment.

A little over a year after the law was passed, some farmers in Slovakia have voiced concern about alleged increases in wolf attacks on livestock.

For lifelong animal rights activists such as Lukac, this was very painful to hear. He believes that the statement has little to do with the conservation of wolves: “It was just a political move,” Lukac told DW.

“I think that the longer full protection lasts, the more people will see that wolves don’t cause any damage and nothing bad is happening. But hunters just don’t want that,” he said.

Lukac rejects the claims, saying there is no evidence of an increase in wolf attacks.

Young wolves at play.

https://www.dw.com/en/claims-of-increased-wolf-attacks-in-slovakia-divide-opinion/a-63789099